Review by Taryn McElheran
Photos by Orest Dorosh & Nicole Wolfe
How it became day four of Boots and Hearts, I’ll never know, but it was definitely the most successful day out of the four. The weather was sunny, the air was warm, and the music was hot! The last full day of tunes was rounded up with the biggest acts of the weekend and they did not forget to bring their A game. Each and every artist on Sunday (and let’s be honest, the rest of the weekend) brought so much talent to the table it’s actually insane. I know I’m not alone when I say that I came out of this weekend with more than a few new bands/artists I’ve learned to love. And it was great seeing so many women hit the main stage on day four! We can always use strong powerful women in the music industry, and every single performer showed us that.
Alee was a sweet and humble start to Sunday’s Boots and Hearts festivities. Her upbeat tempo and personality fit perfectly with the day that was just starting. As a singer-songwriter, her songs become stories and she tells them perfectly. And while she may be young but she sounds like she’s had a life experienced. It was great to finally be able to see her in person and get to hear her hit “Moonshine” in person!
Local girl (literally – she’s from Barrie!) hit the stage and rocked it from the moment she stepped up. She’s a bubbly, happy-go-lucky kind of girl and it showed in every word she sang. I think one of the most important things about being on such a big stage is being able to rock it. And while I’d never really heard any of her music before yesterday, she made me want to listen to more. While she’s full on country, her voice gave us a little rock-and-roll and it was the perfect combination that made her like no other.
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting of Delta Rae, but what I heard was completely mind-blowing. Every single member had something to bring to the table, each one bringing a unique experience to the audience each time. They’ve got a mix of bluegrass, southern vibe mixed with the sound of today’s country. These guys are probably my favourite surprise of the weekend. They were so much fun to listen to and they have so much passion for what they do. You should definitely check them out if you haven’t already!
Cold Creek County
With Cold Creek County up on deck, you know the evening is starting to get good. These guys did a great job in pumping up the crowd and getting them ready for the two biggest acts of the night. They have such a fun attitude and loved to get the crowd going. This group of young guys know how to party and brought the party to the Boots and Hearts main stage. From start to finish they brought the energy we needed to keep the night going strong.
Emerging Artists Winner
At the beginning of the festival, eight finalists competed to become this year’s Emerging Artist Showcase winner. Yesterday the top two (The Redhill Valleys and Jade Eagleson) played the main stage once again to compete for the top prize. The judges had a very hard decision to make but in the end Jade Eagleson took the win, and it was every bit deserved. He and his band worked hard for what they have done and it is amazing that they were able to succeed and come out on top. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with and where it goes in the future.
Brett Eldredge is an entertainer through-and-through and is always fun to watch on any stage he comes across. He has such an infectious personality that it’s hard not to get caught up in the music and him in general. Between all the fun songs and his zest for performing, he did a wicked job. He even obliged to some fan signs and brought out his beloved dog Edgar for a little trick. I’ve become such a big fan of Brett’s over the years and it’s nice to see him excel and keep moving forward. His new album just dropped a few days ago and it’s been the only thing I’ve been listening to since. I highly recommend taking a listen!
What can I say about the biggest country act of the weekend other than WOW? This man knows how to keep a crowd entertained and engaged throughout the entire show and it was well worth the long hours to finally see him perform in real life. He’s got such and incredible and genuine personality and it shows through his love of his fans, he’s cute jokes and the way he goes all out when performing. He may not have a lot of stage theatrics (which is actually a good thing) but he makes up for it with his dance moves (hey girls, you know what I mean), his songs and his interactions. At one point a fan through their phone up on stage – was it staged? Maybe – and he ended up calling a friend of hers for fun. He’s got such a passion for life and performing and it’s so apparent. I can confidently say that this has been one of the best live shows I’ve been to ever – and I’ve been to a lot, trust me. I can’t wait for the next time he’s here so I can see him once again.
Other highlights from Day 4:
We enjoyed the crowds at Boots and Hearts over the past four days. Our Facebook and Instagram accounts are full of your shiny happy faces. Check them out to see if we caught you strutting your stuff at Burl’s Creek!
It’s always sad when a festival comes to an end, even if you are exhausted from little sleep, more than a few drinks and ears ringing like they’ll never stop. But then you remember all the fun times you had and it becomes a favourite moment in life you’ll always remember. From the rain, to the new friends and the amazing music, a festival is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.